Research May Lead to New Treatments for Lethal Cancers

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nervous system that occurs in children, and is almost always fatal. Fifteen percent of cancer deaths in children result from neuroblastoma. Often, in the most severe cases of neuroblastoma, the gene CHD5 is inactive. A study conducted by Johan Holmberg, PhD, at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Stockholm, examined CHD5’s role as a tumor suppressor in order to learn how it operates in healthy tissue.  The researchers thwarted the activity of CHD5 in the brains of fetal mice; their findings indicate that, in order for a cell to transition from a stem cell into a mature neuron, CHD5 must be active. The findings could lead to new and more effective ways to treat neuroblastoma, as well as gliobastoma multiforme, which is the most common and lethal form of brain cancer in adults.

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